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The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has slashed the prices of 9 non-scheduled cancer drugs by up to 87%
An office memorandum issued by the drug pricing regulator in New Delhi said, the maximum retail price of 500 mg chemotherapy injection pemetrexed, which is used to treat lung cancer, has come down from 22 thousand rupees to 2 thousand 800 rupees.
The price of 150 mg Erlotinib tablets will cost now cost 2 thousand 400 rupees instead of 8 thousand 800 rupees.
In February this year, the government had capped 42 cancer drugs at 30%.
At least 72 formulations and more than 390 brands reduced costs following the order. The price cut is expected to benefit about 22 lakh cancer patients.
The NPPA has approved a formula, which restricts the trade margin of the selling price by up to 30%.
Comments: All diseases under various National Health Programs, which are of public health concern, should have all drugs under the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM). Drugs for diseases that are not under the public health importance category can include both NLEM and non-NLEM drugs. The acceptable price cap is 30% (10+20%) and should be implemented in all such cases.
Dr KK Aggarwal
Padma Shri Awardee
President Elect Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania (CMAAO)
Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications
President Heart Care Foundation of India
Past National President IMA